I’m in the middle of reading this book and it’s talking a lot about loss, renewal, rebuilding. One of the characters was talking about the loss of his family’s home in Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina and how the neighbor a few doors down lost every picture she had of a daughter that had passed away a few years prior. He said after that conversation he just didn’t feel sorry for himself and followed it up by saying, “Somebody has to be left standing to put the pieces back together.”
It’s a novel, just a story, but it got me thinking about my own journey through life. Like anyone else, I’ve experienced loss in many different ways over the years. Sometimes other people have helped me back up, sometimes it’s me picking myself back up. Either way, it seems that I’m constantly in a state of rebuilding — be it my emotions, my spirit, my physical surroundings or my body and physical health. At least one of those things is always in a state of change that requires a repair or rebuild of some kind.
I think that the thing about loss is that you’re never prepared. Even when you have advanced warning and may even see it as a blessing, when the actual moment arrives where someone or something that’s been precious to you in some way is gone…there’s still a space. A gap. Something was there and now it’s not — there’s a void and no amount of knowing it’s coming can give you a sense of what it will be like to live with that hole. There’s just no way to know what life will be or feel like on the other side of that loss. When you don’t see it coming at all, getting blindsided is something that can truly just flatten you in a variety of ways. Sometimes the loss is gradual and you don’t even know it’s gone until you look around and one day realize it’s the something that’s missing.
In any case, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about the past few days while I’ve been reading this book. It’s also the start of the New Year, so a theme of renewal and new beginnings is swirling around in everyone’s conversations, commercials, facebook posts, etc. A friend recently said that her yoga instructor suggested thinking of things in terms of “intentions” vs “resolutions” and I really like that. What do I intend to do with my life this year? What changes do I intend to make?
I’m looking around as I consider this giant, open-ended question and have come to realize (again) that my God is the one who is still standing to help my rebuild. He’s faithful. No matter who or what has changed in my life this year, He has stood by my side with a sense of peace and comfort and surrounded me with people who will help me. He’s planted seeds in this past year that are starting to sprout in ways and areas that I didn’t even know I’d need. I’ll need some time to pray and reflect and still myself for answers that are bigger than me.
I’m left feeling a heightened sense of purpose, hope and gratitude.
Truly blessed. Humble and grateful. Praying for strength and guidance.
May you be blessed this year.